(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
March 1, 2020
We are now in Lent. The theme is journeys in the wilderness. So, I thought, who better to get advice from than author of “Wildering” a book on enjoying (and surviving) the wilderness. The author, Mick Tune, was a pastor for eighteen years. He found being a minister excellent experience for wilderness travel. (Wonder why?) Here is his advice:
- Have a plan and carry a map. Learn everything you can about where you think you are going. Talk with people who have been there. Know as much as you can about the landscape, topography, and the changing weather. Prepare for the dangers and the wonders you may encounter. Know how to use your compass (phone or old-style magnetic one). You may decide to deviate from your original course; but creativity works better if you know how to return to the starting point!
- Carry as little as possible with you. The more experienced the hiker, the lighter the backpack. Too much stuff = backache and misery. Pack the necessities and leave the rest behind. Pare down. Then pare down again. Focus on the basics. Only take the stuff that matters.
- Walk with someone you trust. Taking a trail for the first time requires a guide. Find a mentor, or friend to share the journey. Yes, you can trek alone. You are better able to reach your destination with a trusted companion.
- Open yourself up to a new perspective. Discover. Ask questions. Be amazed and awed and blessed. If you have already lost your sense of wonder and amazement, then you are better off staying at home. Walk head-up, not watching your feet. Look around! Stop often just to take in everything. Be open to new ideas — perhaps even grander than you dared to imagine. Listen well. Write and keep a travel journal.
- Understand how small you are … and how astonishingly big the world is. That viewpoint may be the most important discovery of your journey. This trail was never actually about you anyway. This journey is about God’s plan – the same one that created the wilderness you are exploring. Go discover what else is out there.
- Share your journey. The trail you walked is not real to anyone else until you help them to step out on their own. You have encountered something inspiring and amazing. That is wonderful! But now, how do you help other people experience that journey for themselves? How can you help others walk their own paths of discovery?
Bible stories of wilderness are about people finding God. Or allowing themselves to discover the God who is already there. And then finding themselves. May our journeys through Lent this year inspire us, take us to new places where God in Jesus Christ can be found. May we be amazed, comforted and inspired.